Woodland jamboree is tailor made for historic needleworker

By Culture24 Staff | 04 September 2009
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a photo of a woman in medieval clothes sat in a woodland on tree stump sewing

(Above) Sarah Gilks, from Lincoln, who ditched a career as a secretary to become an historic interpreter tracing the history of needlework from the Middle Ages. She will be appearing as part of the free Limewoods Working Weekend (Sept 12/13). Picture Richard Darn.

A 38-year-old ex-office worker is set to be a star turn at the 4th Limewoods Working Woodlands Weekend in Chambers Farm Wood in Lincolnshire.

Nimble fingered Sarah Gilks, from Lincoln, decided to leave typing and filing behind for a new job that has her donning a 15th century costume and reaching for the antique loom.

Now she is set to star at the outdoor event taking place on September 12 and 13 on the Forestry Commission estate in the 360 hectare (900 acre) beauty spot, near Wragby, east of Lincoln.

She will be joining an amazing array of craftspeople and historic re-enactors who have been assembled to celebrate the unique past and present of the Limewoods.

“I’ve always been really interested in needlework so after I met my husband, who was a historic re-enactor at Lincoln Castle, I thought why not give it a go. It might seem odd, but I’m carrying on an old county tradition,” said Sarah.

“Lincolnshire was a centre of silk work and even had its own women's guild. But Elizabeth I preferred French silk workers, which led to the demise of the local industry. I'll be inviting people to find out more and have a go on the loom."

Other highlights over the weekend include spectacular demonstrations by a hi-tech 22 tonne timber harvester, woodland treks by medieval woodsman, besom broom making, chainsaw sculpture, wood turning, wildlife activities and the amazing work of Jim Newbolt from Retford, who fashions old style replica pottery including Roman bowls and Anglo Saxon jugs.

The event runs between 11am and 4pm both days and is based around the Chambers Farm Woods Centre, off the B1202 Bardney to Wragby road. Further information on 01522 552345 or go to www.limewoods.co.uk.

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